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Sun 15 - Sat 21 July 2018 Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Doctoral Symposium is a forum for doctoral students to present their research topic and receive detailed feedback in a constructive and friendly atmosphere. PhD students at any stage of the research are welcome, although they are expected to already have an identified research topic. Participants will obtain useful guidance that will help them complete their research, prepare their thesis, and begin a research career.

The main objectives of the Doctoral Symposium are:

  • to allow PhD students to practise effective writing and communication of their research;
  • to receive constructive feedback from the Program Committee, Academic Panel, and other participants;
  • to offer opportunities to form research collaborations and interact with other researchers at the main conferences.

In 2018 the Doctoral Symposium will be a joint event between the ECOOP and ISSTA conferences, so we welcome participation of students who pursue their research in the areas of both object-oriented programming and software testing and analysis. The event will take place on Wednesday, July 18th, 2018: between the ISSTA and ECOOP conferences. To get more feedback and share their research with a broader audience, participants of the Doctoral Symposium are strongly encouraged to participate in the Poster Session to be held later the same day.

Event Format

The Doctoral Symposium takes the form of a full-day event of interactive presentations. The day will start with a series of lightning talks where each PhD student will give an “elevator pitch” of their research. This will be followed by formal presentations from each PhD student, with time allocated for both the presentation as well as questions and discussions. The program will also include at least one keynote talk on a topic related to PhD studies, research, and life beyond the PhD.

Besides the formal presentations and discussions in sessions, there will be plenty of opportunities for informal interactions during breaks, lunch and (possibly) dinner. To receive more feedback on their own work and get to know with other researchers, participants are invited to take part in the Poster Session.

Call for Submissions

We have three distinct submission categories: junior submissions or extended abstracts, and senior submissions. Junior students may not yet have fully developed a thesis topic, so they will present their research ideas and any progress to date. Senior students are expected to give an outline of their thesis research and will receive feedback to help them successfully complete their thesis and defense/viva.

Submissions are due on April 25th, 2018, AOE April 15th, 2018, AOE and are done via the HotCRP website. Late submission deadline (strict) is on May 18th, 2018, AOE. Late-deadline submissions will be reviewed independently of the early submissions, and priority will be given to submissions received by the first deadline.

As participants of the Doctoral Symposium are not expected to submit technical papers, but rather thesis proposals, participants can submit to both the main conferences/workshops and the Doctoral Symposium. There will be no proceedings for the Doctoral Symposium. Submissions are not double blind.

Junior PhD Students

Extended Abstract

Submit an extended abstract of a research proposal (max 3 pages) in the Dagstuhl LIPIcs format with a problem description, and, optionally, sketch of a proposed approach and/or related work.
The abstract should include the name and university email of your PhD advisor.

Research Proposal

Submit a research proposal (max 8 pages) in the Dagstuhl LIPIcs format with:

  • a problem description;
  • a detailed sketch of a proposed approach;
  • related work.

It is not necessary to present concrete results. Instead, try to inform the reader that you have a (well-motivated) problem and present a possible solution. Attempt to provide a clear road map detailing future research efforts.
The research proposal should include the name and university email of your PhD advisor.

Senior PhD Students

The experience for senior students is meant to mimic a “mini-defense” interview. Aside from the actual feedback, this helps the student will gain familiarity with the style and mechanics of such an interview (advisors of student presenters will not be allowed in).

The students should be able to present:

  • the importance of the problem;
  • a clear research proposal;
  • some preliminary work;
  • an evaluation plan.

Please submit a thesis proposal (max 10 pages) in the Dagstuhl LIPIcs format with the following:

  1. Problem Description
    • What is the problem?
    • What is the significance of this problem?
    • Why can the current state of the art not solve this problem?
  2. Goal Statement
    • What is the goal of your research?
    • What artifacts (tools, theories, methods) will be produced,
    • How do they address the stated problem?
  3. Method
    • What experiments, prototypes, or studies need to be produced/executed?
    • What is the validation strategy? How will it show the goal was reached?

This isn’t a technical paper, don’t focus on technical details, but rather on the research method.
The paper should include the name and university email of your PhD advisor.


Accepted students will give two presentations:

  1. A two-minute presentation stating key issues of the research (the “elevator pitch”).
  2. A 7–15 minute presentation followed by 7–15” of questions, feedback and discussions. Concrete time slots will be determined later with regards to the number of submissions and accepted papers.

Prior to the symposium, each student will be assigned submissions of two other students. For each submission the student will prepare a short summary, some feedback. and 2-3 questions on the submission. All participants will also be expected to take active part in all discussions.